My journey began in my early twenties…
when I started to notice intermittent changes in my balance and the gradual onset of urinary difficulties. As the years went on, my struggles began to intensify and impede my quality of life. Severe pain, difficulty walking, standing and sitting became my new normal. I had countless visits to medical professionals, all of whom were unable to identify the underlying issue, thus placing my symptoms in the realm of mental impairment. It was only after my sibling’s MS diagnosis that I was able to target my approach to seek out inevitable diagnosis for myself.
In 2008, when my wife was pregnant with our second child, I received the bittersweet diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. The next seven years included: five disease modifying therapeutic pharmaceuticals, countless injections, intravenous medications, a barrage of easily accessible ineffective narcotics, three trips out of country for controversial medical procedures, countless side effects, one adverse reaction requiring immediate medical attention, three inaccurate terminal diagnoses, complete loss of bladder function, rapid increase in disability, severe depression, hospitalizations and a severely diminished quality of life. My condition was upgraded to Primary Progressive MS in 2014.
In 2015, I was rushed to the hospital where they provided me with a secondary diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease along with the discovery of six pulmonary nodules. Having already exceeded the maximum yearly dose of steroid pulse therapy and knowing that there was no current effective treatment for my condition, I decided to take my health into my own hands and began Medical Cannabis treatment.
Within three months, urinary function had returned, I was catheter free, I was able to cancel the installation of disability aids in my home, my pain had disappeared, and I was beginning to notice a reversal of many of my symptoms.
The following year involved intense study, completion of targeted professional courses and a return to a better semblance of myself. Through my journey, I have come to realize that my purpose in life is to help raise quality of life for others.
2 Year Update
It has been officially two years since I made the decision to save my own life. The medical system had given up on me and I was beginning the process of planning for my future care. The hard truth was that my wife would not be able to continue as my care giver for much longer. Imagine conceding to this reality and staring down a future that was really not an existence that anyone would welcome.
Since assisted suicide laws were introduced in Canada in 2016 data indicates that those who most frequently accessed these services were in the following demographics according to CTV: “most patients who opted for an assisted death suffered from conditions such as cancer or neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.” These findings although outdated alone should highlight the severity of my condition. I have not only been suffering with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis for over a decade but I also have a Crohn’s disease diagnosis.
Two years ago,
I made the best decision of my life.
I chose to live!
Medical Cannabis saved my life and changed the lives of my family forever. I can now continue to be a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a friend and an activist fighting for the rights of Cannabis patients in Canada.
I feel better than I have in over a decade, without pharmaceuticals; the same pharmaceuticals that threatened my life on more than one occasion. Thanks to Medical Cannabis, I am no longer in excruciating pain, I no longer need assistance using the washroom , getting out of bed, walking, climbing stairs, holding my children, being present, living! It is a violation of my human rights to deny me access to what assists me in being Human!
My journey has been a difficult one, but not without purpose. Without the challenges that I have been faced with , I would not be here fighting for the rights of citizens, those who have been forgotten and deserve to have hope, relief and someone to stand up for their rights. My story doesn’t end here!